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The Covent Garden Ladies

the book that inspired BBC2's 'Harlots'

Hallie Rubenhold



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Black Swan
16 February 2021
By the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of THE FIVE

'A fascinating expose of the seamy side of eighteenth century life' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Rubenhold's pages practically reek with smelly, pox-ridden Georgian Soho' GUARDIAN

In 1757, a down-and-out Irish poet, the head waiter at the Shakespear's Head Tavern in Covent Garden, and a celebrated London courtesan became bound together by the publication of a little book- Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies. This salacious work - detailing the names and 'specialities' of the capital's sex-workers- became one of the eighteenth century's most scandalous bestsellers.

Yet beyond its titillating passages lies a glimpse into the lives of those who lived and died by its profits - a tragicomic opera of the Georgian era, motivated by poverty, passionate love, aspiration and shame.

In this modern and visceral narrative, historian Hallie Rubenhold reveals the story behind Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, and the legion of ordinary women whose lives in the sex trade history has chosen to ignore.

'Scrupulously researched' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Crackles with drama and tension' GUARDIAN
'Compelling and ingenious' INDEPENDENT

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING- 'This book is an absolute 'must'-read for any person interested in English social history''Fascinating' 'Brilliant. Full of intelligent insight which brings this period to vibrant life'
Imprint:   Black Swan
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 127mm,  Spine: 27mm
Weight:   304g
ISBN:   9781784165956
ISBN 10:   1784165956
Pages:   432
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Hallie Rubenhold is the Number One Sunday Times bestselling and Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction prize-winning social historian whose expertise lies in revealing stories of previously unknown women and episodes in history. By drawing upon a wealth of formerly unseen archival material and adding a full historical context to the victims' lives, The Five changes the narrative of these murders for ever. Rubenhold's books include Lady Worsley's Whim, dramatized by the BBC as 'The Scandalous Lady W', and Covent Garden Ladies- The Extraordinary Story of Harris's List, which inspired the ITV series 'Harlots'. She has also written two acclaimed novels of female intrigue, revenge and betrayal- Mistress of My Fate and The French Lesson. She lives in London with her husband.

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